Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Physics Conjectures Galore!

The plenary opening and closing addresses at academic conferences are often hotbeds of cutting edge conjecture by the gray beards of the discipline.  Chris Quigg's paper "DIS and Beyond" (August 30, 2013) does not disappoint on that score.  He notes:

* Optimistic prospects for new discoveries within QCD.

* An interesting conjectural relationship between the mass of the top quark and the mass of the proton (hat tip to Mitchell's theory blog).

* The notion that a good place to look for a GUT or supersymmetry would be in the bending of the running of the coupling constants of the Standard Model that might be observable at the LHC (and which if not observed would undermine motivation for SUSY).

* A discussion of alternative means by which electroweak symmetry breaking can take place.

* He closes by noting that remarkable success of the Standard Model against other contenders which is particularly evidence in the absence of flavor changing neutral currents predicted in many beyond the Standard Model theories but which are too rare to detect in the Standard Model.  He closes his talk by stating:
I regard the persistent absence of flavor-changing neutral currents as a strong hint that a new symmetry or new dynamical principle may be implicated, or that new physics is more distant than hierarchy-problem considerations had indicated.
In sum, the short paper is definitely worth a read.

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